Archive Page

Grau goes undefeated, winning sudden death final game on Western New York Pool Tour

(l to r): Jake Miosi, Dave Grau & Nick Brucato

It’s been a couple of years since the Western New York Pool Tour (WNYPT) has been in what could be described as full swing, or ‘stroke,’ if you prefer the pool analogy. Tour director Nick Brucato hasn’t been idle, but with children entering and proceeding through elementary school, his time was restricted somewhat, and what time he did have, he spent playing instead of organizing and directing tournaments. There have been a few here and there, unreported, over the past couple of years, but with a tournament held this past weekend, February 29, at Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester, NY, Brucato is announcing the return, hopefully, the robust return of the Western New York Pool Tour.

“We’re going to start having two stops a month,” he said, literally still working on the precise schedule and sponsorships for the tour. “We’ll be back at Diamonds in Rochester in a couple of weeks.”

It’s perhaps fitting that this ‘return’ of the Western New York Tour was won by one of its strongest competitors, Dave Grau, who’s won a number of its stops over the year, while also competing and winning on the Joss Tour and a number of New England-based events. He won a Joss Tour stop in February last year and finished 9th at the 10th Annual New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open. His last recorded cash finish on the Western New York Tour came three years ago, when he finished as runner-up to Nick Brucato. They almost met in the finals at this most recent event; almost, as in . . . Brucato came from the loss side and was defeated by Grau in the semifinals. Grau and hot seat occupant, Jake Miosi, played a single deciding-game final, won by Grau.

The worked their way through the short field, facing two opponents to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal. Grau downed Dan Miosi 6-1 and survived a double hill fight against Geoff Montgomery to draw Qais Kolee in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Miosi opened with a double hill win over Fran Imburgia and then, shut out Brucato to pick up Sourith Thammavong in the other winners’ side semifinal.

With something of a pattern emerging, Miosi followed his double hill win and shutout with a second double hill win, over Thammavong. Grau sent Kolee to the loss side 6-3. Miosi broke the pattern with a 6-4 win over Grau to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Thammavong picked up Montgomery, who, following his defeat at the hands of Grau, chalked up loss side wins over Fran Imburgia 4-1 and a double hill win over Sean Zen. Kolee got Brucato, who was working on a modest two-match, loss-side streak in which he’d given up only a single rack; giving up none to Cory Welfare and the one, to Nick Cappolla.

Thammavong downed Montgomery 4-1, as Brucato gave up more racks in his third loss-side match than he’d given up against his previous two opponents combined. Kolee battled him to double hill, but Brucato prevailed, advancing to the quarterfinals and then, downing Thammavong 4-2.

Grau and Brucato battled to a somewhat predictable double hill juncture before Grau prevailed for a second shot at Miosi in the hot seat. It was decided that their second meetup would be a single game for the title. Grau won it to claim the first WNYPT pool title in quite a while.

Brucato thanked Diamond Billiard owners Fran and Jeremiah Imburgia and Cinder Ziegler and the staff for their hospitality. Stay tuned to these spaces for information about upcoming events on the tour and its sponsors.

Casanzio Takes Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Win Undefeated

Ron Casanzio, Room Owner’s Son Jeremiah Imburgia and Bruce Nagle

As it turns out, building a sizable winning stream of Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stops is a difficult proposition. Bucky Souvanthong came into Diamond Billiard Bar & Grill in Rochester NY, on November 2nd and 3rd looking to add to his two stop winning streak. Lyn Wechsler and Jeremiah Imburgia had other plans though, as they eliminated Souvanthong from play on day one of the event. 
Having more success on this weekend were Len Gianfrate, Dave Mills, Bruce Nagle and Ron Casanzio, who all escaped Saturday play undefeated. On Sunday, Gianfrate defeated Mills 9-5 and Casanzio beat Nagle 9-6. Casanzio then went on to send Gianfrate to the one loss side in the hot-seat match 9-3.
On the one loss side, both players coming over from the right side on Sunday won their matches with Nagle over Imburgia and Mills over Wechsler. Nagle then went on to eliminate Mills 7-4 and Gianfrate 7-6.
The finals went one set with Casanzio staying unbeaten and defeating Nagle 9-4 for first place. 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Qais Kolee in the hot-seat with a 3-0 win over Dan Sharlow. Sharlow then dropped the semi-final match to Sean Zeng. Zeng won the first set of the finals 3-2, but Kolee won the second set 3-0 for first place. 

Joss NE 9-Ball Tour in Utica This Week

Congratulations to stop # 3 winners Bucky Souvanthong ($900 main event), Mark Creamer ($300 second chance event) & our $1,600 Joss Cue raffle winner Sean Zeng
Stop #4 of the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour's 2019/2020 season will take place at the beautiful new Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY on Oct. 12 & 13. This will be one of two stops this season in this beautiful room opened recently by our good friend Andrea Duvall. Andrea has created a modern, bright and welcoming room featuring 10 Brunswick Gold Crowns that will be used for our event. There is also a 10-ft heated billiard table, a 12-ft snooker table, a 9-ft tight pocket table, a ping-pong table, 5 7-ft tables, darts, foosball and video games making for a varied and fun recreational experience for the community. There is a wide range of menu selections and snacks as well as a pro shop with a large array of billiard supplies, cues and cases. So come on down this weekend to compete or just watch another great tournament. Be sure to take a chance on winning a beautiful, $1,600 custom engraved Joss cue in the cue raffle. Anyone can participate and you do not have to be present to win! We will draw for the cue just prior to the finals of the main event. For more information visit, or call 315-732-3000.
The $1,600 custom engraved Joss raffle cue can be viewed here:
If you will be in need accommodations, there are many to choose from nearby on Genesee St, just off exit 31 of I90. Please call the room for more info. 315-732-3000. 
This event at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard will consist of a $1500 added Saturday and Sunday Main Event (entry Fee $120 for pro level or $70 for non pro level) and a $500 added second chance event on Sunday ($20 Entry Fee) for those non pro players eliminated from the main event on Saturday. All of our billiard parlor main events are now races to 9 on the winners side and races to 7 on the one loss side.
For those of you coming to play, please arrive on Saturday October 12, BEFORE 11:30 AM, and in proper dress please. Jeans and sneakers are permitted in our billiard parlor events. But please, No T-shirts, No tanks, No shorts or sweats. Complete tour info can be found on our site    
Please remember to spread the word to frequent your local billiard parlors and utilize the world class products of our most generous sponsors. They are the backbone of our sport and deserve our support!! 
Thanks and I hope to see you all at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard.
Mike Zuglan
The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;
Joss Cues –
Turning Stone Resort Casino – 
Simonis Cloth – – –
Billiards Press –                 
World Class Cue Care –



Dreidel, Zen and Brucato win Western New York tour’s four-event marathon

It looked good on paper.
In planning, well in advance, for a four-event weekend, the Western New York Tour's director, Nick Brucato, looked at potential dates and seeing very little happening elsewhere on the weekend of April 23-26, he made his decision. His event would follow the Super Billiards Expo in Pennsylvania and he calculated a decent turnout would spill over from that event. As it turned out, though, a variety of other events popped up on the pool calendar after he'd made his decision, and the turnout wasn't "anything like (he) expected."
A total of 68 players (with duplication) filled out four events that began on Thursday April 23 with a bar box 8-ball tournament (22) and concluded with a big table 9-ball tournament (16) on Sunday, April 26. In between, were a bar box 10-ball event (15) and a triple elimination bracket 8-ball event (15). By the time the final match in the 9-ball event was scheduled to begin, it was 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning, April 27. The competitors (Brucato and room owner, Sean Zen) opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. The entire event was hosted by Eastridge Billiards in Rochester, NY.
In addition to prize money awarded to each of the winners in four events (three players; Dave Dreidel won two), there was a $250-added Master of the Table award, won by Dreidel. The award was based on a combination of participation and performance, with each player assigned 100 points at the outset, three points per match played, and assigned points for place finish; from 10 for a win, down to 2 for a 10th place finish. This encouraged participation in all four events; a top player who opted out of any of the events would, in effect, be down 100 points, which would be hard to make up, thereby incentivizing players to participate in all four. Dreidel, Brucato, Melissa Spade and Sean Zen picked up the top four cash prize awards in this Master of the Table competition.
Dreidel got things rolling on Thursday with an undefeated win in the first of two 8-ball events, a short race (to 2) standard, double elimination tournament. The event's final four matches were shutouts. Dreidel got by Bruce Prince, Jr. 2-0 in the hot seat match. On the loss side, it was Luis Recio emerging to shut out both Junie Gelako in the quarterfinal match and Prince in the semifinal. Dreidel sealed the deal with a shutout over Recio in the finals. Melissa Spade picked up $40 as the event's top female finisher.
Dreidel went undefeated in the 10-ball event, as well. He got by Angelo Inness twice; once for the hot seat 7-4 and again (7-5) in the finals. The loss-side contender in this one was Tito Ortiz, who downed Bob Simmons 6-4 in the quarterfinals, only to be stopped by Inness 6-2 in the semifinals. Mindy Hagar picked up $20 as the top female finisher.
Dreidel played in the triple elimination 8-ball tournament, too, making it as far as a winners' side semifinal against room owner Sean Zen, who defeated him, double hill and then went on to win the event. Zen defeated Chris Bassett 3-1 to claim the hot seat, and downed Jerry Sullivan by the same score in the finals. Sullivan had emerged from a mind-boggling, triple elimination scenario to defeat Basset in the quarterfinals, and Melissa Spade in the semifinals. Normally, the loser of the hot seat match (Bassett, in this case) is guaranteed at least a third place finish, but a third two-loss bracket affords players the opportunity to emerge and challenge one-loss players. Spade was the final player out of that two-loss bracket, before being eliminated, with a third defeat, by Sullivan. Women were awarded a game on the wire for all matches in this event.
Nick Brucato and room owner Sean Zen split the top two prizes in the weekend's final event, a 'big table,' double elimination 9-ball tournament, and given the sheer volume of effort they put forth, along with Brucato's assistants, Bruce Prince, Sr. and Bob Simmons, they certainly earned it. Brucato defeated Bassett 9-3 to claim the hot seat. As with the triple elimination 8-ball event, women were awarded a game on the wire, which worked to Melissa Spade's advantage, though not for long enough. She was defeated by Sean Zen 7-4 in the quarterfinals. Zen moved on to defeat Bassett 7-3 in the semifinals, before, at 6:30 a.m., he and Brucato opted out of playing a final match. As the undefeated hot seat occupant, Brucato was declared the official winner.
In addition to profuse thanks to his assistants, Bob Simmons and Bruce Prince, Sr., Brucato thanked room owner Sean Zen, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Kamui Tips, McGinny's Pub, and Mooney's Mac and Cheese of Leroy, NY (donors of the $250 added to the Master of the Table awards). In addition, he thanked Premier Sunroom Solutions of Rochester, NY, for their donation of a patio set, valued at $800, that was raffled off and won by Pamela Goodfriend.

Souvanthong holds off Casanzio for Joss Tour Win

Bucky Souvanthong (Courtesy Erwin Dionisio)

Bucky Souvanthong held off a late charge from Ron Casanzio to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at East Ridge Billiards in Rochester NY over the October 5th – 6th weekend.
Souvanthong’s Saturday consisted of three wins, 9-4 over Dan Sharlow and then back to back 9-3 wins over Sean Zeng and Dave Mills
Joining Souvanthong on the winner’s side on Sunday were Lyn Wechsler, Casanzio and Sourith Thammavong. Casanzio made quick work of Wechsler 9-1, while Souvanthong had a slightly closer 9-4 win over Thammavong. That left Souvanthong and Casanzio to battle for the hot-seat, which Souvanthong took 9-6.
Thammavong had two tough 7-5 wins on the left side of the board (Brad Guthrie and Sharlow), but wasn’t ready for Casanzio as Casanzio ended Thammavong’s day in third place 7-2. 
The first set of the double elimination finals went to Casanzio 9-7 in another close match, but Souvanthong took control of the second set and cruised to a 7-2 win for first place. 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Mark Creamer come back from a first round loss to Marco Kam and win seven straight matches to take first. Creamer got his revenge over Kam 3-2 on the one loss side, and that match would contain the last rack he would lose in this event. He defeated Nick Coppola 3-0 and then proceeded to double dip Steve Winter 3-0 twice to take first place. 
The next stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be this weekend (October 12th – 13th) at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY. Tour director Mike Zuglan is busy taking entries for January’s Turning Stone Classic XXIII and players are urged to contact him to get their entries fees paid asap. 

Brucato wins 11 on the loss side, and downs Grau in opening set of Western New York finals

In a rarely-seen triple elimination format, which gives players a third chance at advancing through a tournament bracket, Nick Brucato, tour director of the Western New York Tour, worked his way through a field of 37 to win a Saturday, November 22 event, hosted by East Ridge Billiards in Rochester, NY. The format, in use at this bar table, 8-ball event created a separate loss-side bracket, into which players were moved when they lost a normal loss-side match. In this separate bracket, players met for a single game before advancing, eventually to challenge players in the final stages of the normal loss-side bracket.
"We're calling it The Grind 8-Ball series, and it was a success," said Brucato and new tour assistant, Aaron Cameron, of the triple elimination format. "We're going to do six more a year just like it, including one on Saturday, December 20, we're calling the Jingle Grind."
Brucato lost his opening match to Seth Tamavoughn, and embarked on an 11-match winning streak that would eventually put him into the finals against Dave Grau. Tamavoughn moved on, eventually advancing to a winners' side semifinal against Lyn Wechsler. Dave Grau and Sean Zen squared off in the other. Grau and Wechsler advanced to the hot seat match, 3-1, over Zen and Tamavoughn. Grau and Wechsler fought a double hill battle that eventually sent Wechsler to  the semifinals.
On the loss side, with five notches on his loss-side belt already, Brucato defeated Phil Johnson and tour partner Cameron, both 2-1, to pick up Zen. Tamavoughn drew Chad Strong, who'd gotten by Andre Ianello and Luis Ricio, both 2-1. Tamavoughn and Brucato hooked up for a rematch in the quarterfinals, once Tamavoughn had shut out Strong and Brucato had defeated Zen 2-1. Brucato successfully wreaked his vengeance on Tamavoughn 2-1 and then, in what would have been a double elimination semifinal, shut out Lyn Wechsler 2-0.
Wechsler now had to face Strong in a single game. Strong won, but was then defeated in a single game against Ricio.  Ricio now turned to face Brucato in the semifinals, and Brucato defeated him 2-0 for a shot at Grau in the hot seat. Brucato took the opening set 3-2, at which point, he and Grau opted out of a deciding match and split the top prizes.
Brucato thanked East Ridge Billiards owner, Sean Zen for his support and hospitality, along with Ozone Billiards for their sponsorship of the event.